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Mapletree Commercial Trust sees 11% fall in net property income for Q1

MAPLETREE Commercial Trust (MCT) on Thursday reported a 10.7 per cent year-on-year decline in net property income to S$78.9 million for the first quarter, attributing it largely to rental rebates given to retail tenants at its core VivoCity property during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gross revenue for the quarter ended June 30 was down 10.5 per cent on the year to S$100.4 million, while property operating expenses were 9.7 per cent lower on the year to S$21.5 million. 

Sharon Lim, chief executive of MCT's manager, said that Q1 was impacted by the "full force" of Singapore's eight-week "circuit breaker" as well as the continued closure of most businesses during the first phase of Singapore’s re-opening from June 2-18. 

However, the impact was mitigated by contributions from Mapletree Business City (MBC). 

Currently, the majority of MCT's retail tenants have resumed operations. But Ms Lim cautioned that the situation will "take some time" to return to pre-Covid-19 levels due to "continued work-from-home directives, border closures, social-distancing measures, as well as disruptions in manpower and global supply chains". 

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In Q1, revenue from VivoCity fell 56.7 per cent on the year to S$23.1 million. This came as shopper traffic and tenant sales at the mall fell 78.5 per cent and 63.4 per cent respectively on a year-on year basis.

MCT in April waived fixed rent for eligible tenants; it later provided rental rebates amounting to S$6 million in June. 

VivoCity recorded 98.4 per cent committed occupancy as at June 30. 

On the other hand, revenue from the office and business park assets were up 31.4 per cent on the year to S$77.2 million. This was largely driven by MBC II and Mapletree Anson, due to higher occupancy and the effects of step-up rents in existing leases, MCT said. 

As at June 30, the committed occupancy for MCT’s office and business park assets ranged from 90.4 per cent at PSA Building to full commitment at MBC II. Mapletree Anson and Bank of America Merrill Lynch HarbourFront reported full occupancy. 

MCT's gearing ratio was 33.7 per cent as at June 30, versus 33.1 per cent a year ago. 

MCT added that new facilities were secured during the quarter to put it on track to refinance all borrowings due in FY20 and FY21. It held more than S$1 billion of cash and undrawn committed facilities at June 30. 

Units of MCT closed unchanged at S$1.92 on Thursday before the announcement. 

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